- (Photo: Metropolitan Police Service)
A travel agency is coming under intense scrutiny for using the image of missing child Madeleine McCann. The agency has apologized for using McCann's photo and said it is "doing all that [it] can to … get the picture removed."
According to VoucherDigg.co.uk, the photo was provided to lowcostholidays.com. The two companies reportedly have no contract, and lowcostholidays.com is working to remove the photo. Prior consent was not given to either organization for their professional use.
"We have no contract with VoucherDigg to advertise our holidays and we are doing all that we can to contact the website and get the picture removed. We discovered this vile material yesterday and immediately broke all the [web] links to our site and contacted our lawyers," COO Lawrence Hunt told the BBC.
The 4-year-old Madeleine disappeared during a family holiday in Portugal five years ago. Her parents have spoken out and said that they "have no doubt" there will be a new investigation soon.
Police are investigating new claims that a child matching Madeleine's description was seen at a campsite three days after going missing. According to The Sun, a German family paid extra after suddenly arriving at a lodge with an extra child in 2007.
"She [the girl] seemed alienated and completely different to her family. It really was most peculiar," said witness Karen Sisson. Sisson notified police, but told The Sun that no one bothered to respond. The family stayed at the lodge for at least two weeks, records show.
According to Sisson, the girl seemed groggy and "out of it," leading detectives to posit that if it was, in fact, Madeleine, she could have been drugged. It's entirely possible that the German family was using illegal plates on their vehicle in order to avoid police.
"This lady has done exactly the right thing in reporting what she saw to police," a spokesman for the McCann family told reporters.